papa wemba6

The influential Congolese musician Papa Wemba has died aged 66 after collapsing during a concert.

Video from the show in Ivory Coast showed him slumped on stage behind a group of dancers, before they rushed to his aid.

His pioneering blend of African, Cuban and Western sounds became one of Africa’s most popular music styles.

Wemba also toured around the world, and recorded with British artist Peter Gabriel.

“I would put him in the same bracket as Fela Kuti when it comes to influence on African music,” said DJ Edu, BBC 1xtra’s African Music Ambassador.

The musician fell ill in the early hours of Sunday morning. The cause of his death has not been established.

He died before he could be brought to hospital, a spokesman for the Ivosep morgue in Abidjan told Reuters news agency.

papa wemba2

 

Born in 1949, Wemba, whose real name was Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, began his singing career in religious choirs.

He helped modernise Congolese rumba music, with the genre that emerged – soukous – influencing music across Africa.

Together with his bands Zaiko Langa Langa, Isifi and Viva La Musica, he racked up hit after hit, including L’Esclave and Le Voyageur.

He appeared in two feature films, Life Is Beautiful (1987) and Wild Games (1997).

Influence on fashion

Wemba was also a style icon, the driving force behind the cultural movement the Sapeurs, whose young men spend vast amounts on designer clothes.

On his look, Wemba told CNN he in turn was inspired by his parents getting dressed up on Sundays. They were “always well put together, always looking very smart”, he said.

In 2004, he was convicted of people-smuggling in France and spent three months in prison.

The conviction related to a racket whereby illegal immigrants were taken to Europe posing as members of his band.

A Belgian court convicted him of the same crime in 2012, handing down a fine of €22,000 (£17,143; $24,690) and suspended prison sentence of 15 months.

He was also once jailed in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) for allegedly having an affair with a general’s daughter.

Tributes to ‘icon’

Congolese President Joseph Kabila has expressed his condolences, and there are likely to be large events paying homage in the coming days.

Congolese Culture Minister Baudouin Banza Mukalay called his death a “great loss for the country and all of Africa”, Associated Press reported.

Kinshasa rapper Youssoupha mourned the band leader in a tweet (in French), saying, “Like my community, I am devastated by the death of Papa Wemba.

“He was the icon of our culture, of our lifestyle. This is a huge loss.”

papa wemba3

(BBC.com )

LIVE Performance of “Show me the way”

 

YOLELE

 

BY KAPA187

[Read 111 times, 1 reads today]
Loading...

13 COMMENTS

  1. So sad, this Papa Wemba and Koffi Olomide (Mopao) have been great through out…RIP man!

    0

    0
    • They brought style, good style clothing, and perfum to Rhumba

      0

      0
    • And who the f… wait who was he again?

      Lets talk of Prince and Michael Jackson people

      Legends forever

      Thanks

      BB2014

      0

      2
  2. THIS AND LAST YEAR HASN’T BEEN GOOD TO MUSICIANS BB KING DIED LAST YEAR, JUST TWO DAYS AGO PRINCE DIED AND AGAIN IT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST SON OF AFRICAN MUSICIANS PAPA WEMBA. SAD FOR AFRICA. PAPA WEMBA HAS BEEN ONE INSPIRATIONAL MUSICIANS TO MUSICIANS WHO WANT TO PLAY REAL MUSIC. HE HAS COUCHED MANY A MUSICIANS ESPECIALLY THE CONGOLESE. THE ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT PAPA WEMBA’S DEATH IS THAT HE DIED ON STAGE DOING WHAT HE KNOWS BEST. HE WILL BE MISSED BY MANY REAL MUSIC LOVERS. WE ARE NEIGHBOURS BUT ZAMBIANS COULDN’T LEARN ANYTHING FROM THESE CONGOLESE GREAT MUSICIANS. UP TO NOW ZAMBIA HASN’T GOT ANY DIRECTION FOR MUSIC. THAT IS REAL MUSIC WHERE MUSICIANS SING TO PLAYED INSTRUMENTS. I WILL MISS HIM.

    0

    0
  3. @1.1 IN FACT THE MUSIC CONGOLESE PLAY IS SIMPLY TRADITIONAL MUSIC WHICH HAS BEEN IMPROVISED USING MODERN INSTRUMENTS. THE DANCE IS PURELY TRADITIONAL, TOO. BUT, ALSO IMPROVISED. SIMILARLY, ZAMBIANS COULD HAVE TAKEN THE DANCES OF THE LATE PETER CHIPANGO, MUKANDAWIRE, IMBENI, AKALELA, VIMBUZA, AND THE DRUMMING OF CHITWANSOMBO, TUMBUKAS, TONGAS, LOZIS AND ALL THE DANCES, SINGINGS AND IMPROVISED THEM INSTEAD OF EVERYDAY OF THE CENTURY COPYING RUBBISH FROM WHICHEVER SOURCE THEY COPY, WITHOUT EVEN COPYING STUFF CORRECTLY. AND ENDING UP WITH ONLY ONE BASELINE. RUBBISH.

    0

    0
  4. Most of these guys back in the day were not making any money, it was all materialistic stuff;all those CD and Tape sales was going to their record companies who had fleeced them. Sadly now in their retirement they re back on the road on tour.
    RIP…Papa Wemba!!

    0

    0
  5. He was too old to continue performing in that manner where where you have to be on the stage dancing for long hours, touring the world,etc. The problem with Africans is that you don’t realize the importance of retirement.

    0

    0
    • Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones et Al have all not retired. They are all over 70. Why shd you only speak ill of Africans? This attitude of looking down on our own irks me…geez people!

      0

      0
    • @ndine, which world are you living in? Those people have retired, they don’t do concerts only called in to do one song on special occasions e.g. a Independence day, birthday

      0

      0
    • Ndine pano
      Those guys you mention are filthy rich when the tour they get a big share in the ticket sales at sell out events and can cancel anytime..unlike these Rhumba guys who are paid a fee to play; big difference. Some of these guys live in England are so broke that they are on welfare.

      0

      0
  6. Typical Zambian crap of commenting and critiquing even things they know little off. Tell me only one Zambian musician who reached the firm of Papa Wemba? Listen to Zambian music nowadays typical imitation of either Congolese or Nigerian music. Even pastors play rhumba music to entice finished, retired, tired fat prostitutes to congregate…calling it gospel rhumba, gospel rhumba my foot. Zambians should have by now developed their on genre of music composed by Emanuel Mulemema, Keith Mulevu, Smooky Haangala etc. The Congolese are ahead of us in terms of music. Even tu Temba (makeshift roadside shops) are borrowed from Congo. RIP Papa Wemba

    0

    0

Comments are closed.